Posted at 17:06 GMT on Sunday 8th October 2006
Round 19: Endless Nights is now ticking and the shuffle completed successfully. So its now time to look to the future. 2007 should be a very good year for Planetarion and a big improvement on 2006. As the year progresses PATeam aims to rebalance the game, reduce the dependency on activity and increase the need for skill. At the same time we recognise that by increasing the skill required, the game will also need to cater for new players who won’t understand how everything works. Planetarion will always require some activity because it is built around teamwork. However, we aim to develop the game so that it fits around activities such as work and sleep in a better way.
The most important thing, we feel, is that the teamwork aspect of Planetarion has to be maintained and improved, regardless of any other developments. We want to enhance the ability for players to play with current friends but also to meet new friends.
We are very excited about the future of Planetarion and its community and hope that you will not be disappointed.
We aim to:
- Make the game more varied and add depth.
- Allow new players to integrate more easily into the community.
- Allow new players to get to grips with the game better.
- Add more advanced features that can be optionally disabled.
- Make the game more about ability than activity.
- Make the game about real teamwork.
- Allow friends to play together but also allow people to make new friends.
PATeam aim to make this happen with the following actions:
1) Make a backdrop of a proper science fiction story. This will include events from previous rounds as well as events prior to Round 1. This should be in place by Round 20.
2) Change the free/paid boundaries so that the free planets are easy to play as and more competitive than they are currently, a key aspect of this will be removing the current ETA restrictions. This should be in place by Round 20.
3) Make the game friendlier to those playing from the same location through less reliance on IP-based evidence, tool improvements and a more casual approach to enforcing in-game exceptions. This will be a gradual process that is already underway.
4) Improve the main www.planetarion.com site to market the game more successfully. Phase one of this is already complete, with a revamped portal for Round 19. The site will be further enhanced for Round 20.
5) Make core features simple on the surface but with hidden depths, perhaps with more features along the lines of engineering priorities that could be disabled on free accounts. This will take place gradually with the first changes being visible for Round 20.
6) Work with partners and affiliates to promote Planetarion across the NetGamers community. This is currently in progress with an affiliates section on www.planetarion.com being developed. NetGamers is currently our only affiliate, but we aim to add affiliates over the rest of this year and next year.
7) Work with NetGamers to improve irc facilities for alliances so that alliances can easily locate all of their channels on the netgamers server without security fears. An initial system will be in place for Round 19, with further enhancements coming in 2007.
8) Develop a system to allow users to have a single login for life, with credit management and purchasing handled outside individual games. This will not only make life easier for players (as they will only need to give ruler name, planet name and race when signing up to a game), but will also cut down on administration in general. This will be put in place during 2007.
If you have any questions on this please do get in touch with us.